Nippon Steel settles suit against former worker over data leak to South Korean rival Posco

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. has settled a damages lawsuit against a former employee accused of giving trade secrets to South Korean rival Posco, informed sources said Tuesday.

Nippon Steel in late March withdrew the case against the former worker over the leak of its magnetic steel sheet technology, the sources said.

The company also reached settlements with around 10 other former employees whom it blamed for working as industrial spies for Posco, the sources said. Most of the former workers have paid settlement money to Nippon Steel.

Nippon Steel reached a settlement with Posco in September 2015 over the leak, receiving ¥30 billion from the South Korean company.

Posco was acquiring the Nippon Steel technology from the former employees and others for about 20 years starting in the mid-1980s.

The leak came to light during a lawsuit in South Korea filed by Posco against a former employee accused of leaking its technology to a Chinese company. The technology in question was found to have been acquired from Nippon Steel.

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